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Manuel Achilles headshot

Manuela Achilles is an Associate Professor of German and History with a joint appointment in the Department of German, and the Corcoran Department of History. In addition to the European Studies Program, she is also directing the Center for German Studies.

Professor Achilles' research combines the historical study of German history and culture with theoretical analyses. She has published broadly on the political culture of Weimar democracy and is currently completing a book length-study of constitutional patriotism and the desire for democracy in Weimar Germany.

Her second research interest revolves around green practices and ideas. Together with Dana Elzey, she has put together an edited volume that explores the German Energy Transition to renewables with the aim to engender a fruitful transatlantic discussion about green policies, practices, and ideas.

Areas of research and teaching interests:

  • Modern German History and Culture

  • European and Environmental Studies

  • History and Theories of Fascism

  • Democracy Studies

  • Critical Theory and Cultural Studies


M.A., Free University of Berlin, 1996

M.A., The University of Michigan, 1996.

Ph.D., The University of Michigan, 2005.

Recent Publications

Nationalism, Nativism, and the Revolt Against Globalization, Special Issue of EuropeNow (Journal of the Council for European Studies); co-edited with Kyrill Kunakhovich and Nicole Shea; February 2018.

"Anchoring the Nation in the Democratic Form: Weimar Symbolic Politics beyond the Failure Paradigm”, in: German Modernities from Wilhelm to Weimar: A Contest of Futures, ed. Geoff Eley, Jennifer Jenkins, Tracie Matysik (London, New York, Bloomsbury, 2016), 259-281.

"Nuclear Power? No, Thank You!" Germany's Energy Revolution Post-Fukushima," in: Achilles and Elzey (eds.), Environmental Sustainability in Transatlantic Perspective, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 104-127.

"The Economy Under the Nazis: Keynesianism Avant La Lettre?", 2013, Darden Business Publishing, UVA-GEM 112 (with Peter Debaere).

"With a Passion for Reason: Celebrating the Constitution in Weimar Germany,Central European History, Volume 43, Number 4 (December 2010), Special issue on the Culture of Politics / Politics of Culture in the Weimar Republic.

"Reforming the Reich: Democratic Symbols and Rituals in the Weimar Republic," in Kathleen Canning, Kerstin Barndt, and Kristin McGuire (eds), Weimar Publics / Weimar Subjects: Rethinking the Political Culture of Germany in the 1920s (New York: Berghahn Books, 2010), 175-191.

Awards and Honors

  • 2018: Collective Response: Moving Forward Grant, UVa College of Arts & Sciences

  • 2017: Campus Weeks Partnership Grant, Office of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany

  • 2017: Language Technology Incubator (LTi) Grant, with Ammon Shepherd (UVa)

  • 2017: UVa Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation Grant

  • 2017: Page-Barbour Interdisciplinary Scholarship Grant, with Asher Biemann

  • 2013: Global Activities Grant, UVa Center for International Studies

  • 2011: Honorable mention, best interdisciplinary course, H-German Syllabus Contest

  • 2010: Page Barbour International Scholarship Grant, with Volker Kaiser

  • 2009: Faculty Curriculum Development Grant, UVa Center for International Studies

  • 2009: Page Barbour International Scholarship Grant

  • 2005: Rackham Dissertation Fellowship, University of Michigan.

  • 2002: Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute Fellowship in German and European Studies, University of Minnesota

  • 1998: Mellon Fellowship, University of Michigan

  • 1996: Alan P. Cottrell Prize in German Studies, University of Michigan

  • 1993-1994: Shurman Assistantship at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

  • 1993-1994: Fulbright  Grant to the USA (Cornell University)